Kept secret and never leaked, the announcement of a General Election by the Prime Minister was a shock. The housing market has been relatively stable since the EU referendum, and there are concerns now that this snap election will rock the boat. Historically elections can slow down the market, as the country enters a period of uncertainty, but instead of a normal three to four-month election run-up, this time we only have a month. So will this short period of uncertainty impact on the Docklands property market?
We wouldn’t be being truthful if we suggested that the election won’t have any kind of effect, as any period of uncertainty is bound to have some impact. The bigger question for those thinking of selling is: is it the right time for you? The election aside, your personal situation may be driving your sale and your desire to move, such as a change of job or circumstances. In this case, you need to make the decision that is right for you, although our team at Franklyn James will always give you a frank assessment of your situation.
In response to Rightmove’s latest house price index, Miles Shipside, Rightmove Director and housing market analyst stated, “High buyer demand in most parts of the country has helped to propel the price of newly marketed property to record highs. There are signs of a strong spring market, with the number of sales agreed and achieved at this time of year being the highest since 2007. It remains to be seen what effect the run-up to the snap election will have, though any slowdown in activity will be counter-balanced by the market’s current fast pace. Indeed, in locations where choice of suitable property is limited, hesitation could mean losing out to others who still decide to act.”
More good news has been released from HM Revenue and Customs, who have announced that there was an increase of 21% in the number of properties that changed hands from February to March. In addition, the Council of Mortgage Lenders figures showed that mortgage advances have soared by 19%. Both these figures highlight the confidence that the property market has managed to regain, and some economists believe that the election is unlikely to have a material affect.
One of our biggest issues is the lack of property coming onto the market; even with an influx of buyers, there seems to be a reluctance to move. That being said, according to Rightmove’s latest figures, the borough of Tower Hamlets saw an increase in property prices from February to March of 0.8%.
We suspect that there will be a slight slowdown until after the result on June 8th, after which, with a stronger mandate for Brexit, we expect stability to return to the property market, as well as long-term economic stability.
One thing is certain, whoever wins the election needs to look at the housing market as a whole; this is echoed by ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, David Cox, who has stated, “All political parties need to put housing front and centre in their election manifestos. The country is rapidly moving towards crisis point, where a chronic shortage of housing has become unsustainable. Rather than trying to look at individual issues, it’s time to take a holistic view of housing policy.
Yes, the election will affect the property market, but it won’t affect every move. At Franklyn James we assess each individual case to ensure we give you the frank and fluff-free advice you need to make the decision that is right for you.